Borussia Dortmund vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, Matchweek 1
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti (out)
Dortmund Outs & Doubts: Nico Schulz, Luca Unbehaun (out), Lukasz Piszczek, Mateu Morey (doubt)
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), BT Sport ESPN (UK), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 1 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
The Champiooooooooooooooooooons... Welcome back, European Cup! The best club competition in the world is back, and Barcelona really have to win this one. It’s been four years since the last, and the way we were eliminated the last two have been especially hard to take. But a new season always bring fresh expectations, and Barça will go again this time.
To test how good Barça can be after such an inconsistent start to the season there can’t be a better, tougher challenge than Borussia Dortmund away. The Black and Yellow are one of the best teams in Europe and have a monster attack led by the skills and assists of Jadon Sancho, the calm leadership and decisive touches of Marco Reus, and the unstoppable hunger for goal of Paco Alcácer, who faces his former team on the best form of his career and is ready for revenge.
Having Lionel Messi available for his season debut in this type of match is crucial, but relying on the captain in his first match after a six-week injury is not the best strategy. Everything else has to work: the defense has to be solid for the first time this season, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie De Jong and Arthur must dominate midfield and feed the attack, and Antoine Griezmann is at Barça precisely for these games.
But this may be all about Ansu Fati: the 16-year-old continues to shine with every opportunity, and he might start his first Champions League match ever against the famous Yellow Wall with everyone watching to see what he can do under European pressure. If he shines again, then the sky is the limit for one of the most exciting young players this club has produced.
Get ready for a spectacle. This is going to be all kinds of fun.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Griezmann, Suárez, Ansu Fati
Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Bürki; Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Weigl; Sancho, Reus, Hazard; Alcácer
I think this will be the best game of the entire group stage, the kind of game both teams play to win and don’t deserve to lose: 3-3 draw.